It's a bit difficult at times, but it definitely stands out from the pack.
When Zen Studios strays away from its pinball efforts, the results can often be interesting. It didn't exactly get off on the right foot with a Rocky and Bullwinkle oriented mini-game collection for XBLA, as that game was too scattershot to enjoy. However, as of late, the company has really come into its own with original efforts, especially with the recently released CastleStorm, a game that combines puzzle and strategy elements into one superb effort.
Now we have KickBeat, a game that takes the music/rhythm genre and turns it on its ear. In the game, you play an elite warrior who fends off against an army of goons, using his punches and kicks. However, he has to do so to the beat of a song, hitting in the direction of his opponents, be it single thugs who line up in multiple directions, or two thugs that have to be taken out at one time standing in different spots – easier said than done.
KickBeat's gameplay works very well for a music/rhythm game, but it has a steep learning curve. You have to keep an eye open in all four directions as your character strikes, and that can be difficult considering most enemies surround you and make it hard at times to see the markers on the ground. Also, it'll take you a while to get used to picking up power-ups, as you have to double-tap a button at the right moment to acquire it.